Glee blog review Season 2 Episode 22 ‘New York’: Start spreading the news

I know: Plot implausibilities teemed in Season 2 Glee finale New York. But what has your faithful Glee blogger always asserted?

That Glee is a musical fantasy. And that means we forgive and accept it.

It’s immaterial that people burst into song on the streets (for a vibrant mash-up of Madonna’s I Love New York with On the Town’s New York, New York). It’s unimportant that a glee club doesn’t even rehearse for Nationals competition — just shows up, writes two original songs and performs (the potent belting ballad Pretending, and the joyous, electric,  show-stopping Light Up the World). And it’s irrelevant that strangers could wander into two separate Broadway venues and get to perform on their stage (Matt Morrison’s nicely rocking solo love song Still Got the Night, and the Rachel-Kurt, or Lea-Chris, duet of Wicked’s For Good).

No, what’s important is the music itself — this is a musical, right — and its connection to the characters. And in this case those characters were well served — not everyone, but certainly the focal Finn and Rachel, especially the latter.

New York not only was Rachel’s dream come true, but already is Lea Michele’s. And after some shows where Glee’s greatest star has taken a backseat to the ensemble, not in this one. Not at this place. Not at this time. New York was Lea Michele’s show to shine — and boy, did she.

Even with so much music, the episode told a strong story from relationship standpoints, including Rachel’s reluctance to lead Finn on, given her greater love for her future stage stardom. Brittany and Santana also had a touching reconciliation, and Will’s declaration of devotion to the glee club — and the group-hug that followed — delivered the episode’s solidarity message,  as did the “we’re all family” final moments.

So what’s not to like, implausibilities aside? Not much, if you ask me. Glee finished its second season on a strong and high note, and without having to pander to mere win-it-all wish-fulfillment, thanks to wisely letting a minor technicality keep New Directions frrom making the Nationals Top 10 (though they did finish 12th out of 50 teams). Hey, Rocky Balboa didn’t win his first championship bout either. But he won his second. And I suspect New Directions will win it all at Nationals in 2012. Not that winning, in the end, is all that important.

Here, it wasn’t. It was the journey — the experience. I’ve heard great athletes say the same thing, including former Houston Rocket Hakeem Olajuwon in assessing his team’s championship seasons. For Glee — internally with its characters, and externally with us — the  journey has brought so much. It’s brought laughter and fun, heartbreak and woe.  But most of all it’s brought us characters we can care about and songs which do more than entertain us, but also move us.

Up until Glee, that was a fantasy itself for network TV, because no show like Glee had come before Glee. But now its musical fantasy is a reality, and I couldn’t be more grateful.

Thanks for a great Season 2, Glee. Thanks to Ryan Murphy and the entire cast and crew. And thanks to the fellow viewers who have kept this precious show alive after it had scant chance to succeed out of the gate (it’s a musical? and who are its stars?). Now it’s on to Season 3 and perhaps a triumph at Nationals. But then, as now, the true triumph is the journey — the experience. The true triumph, in short, is Glee itself.

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2 Responses to “Glee blog review Season 2 Episode 22 ‘New York’: Start spreading the news”

  1. T Says:

    AGREE! With every thing said here. I always enjoy your reviews of glee episodes because you are exactly right in saying it was a musical fantasy. I think the most poignant moment that demonstrated this was Finn and Rachel being serenaded by the rest of the Glee guys for their date. But I don’t think Will had to sneak onto that stage. Wasn’t that April Rhode’s stage and he was supposed to be part of the show? I loved the Rachel and Kurt moment with breakfast at tiffany’s and the wicked stage.

    One thing no one else has commented on and I would like to see some one explore in the off season is what will happen after season 3 (if there is to be a season 4) because all of these characters will be seniors next year and graduate. Some one told me it would just be like That 70’s Show and they would have like 4 senior years. But Glee is pretty clear about their timing stating things like “Prom Queen 2011” and so on. I would love to see this show carry on and keep bringing in new stars. But that is a tough sell, almost tougher than getting Glee started. But maybe they can follow in the foot steps of Law and Order and have a rotating cast.

  2. Bruce Westbrook Says:

    Thanks so much for the kind words, T. And yes, you’re right about that being the stage for April’s show. It just felt funny that Will had never been there for any reason–rehearsal, whatever–and all of a sudden he waltzes in and sings. At any rate, it didn’t matter because, as we both know, Glee is a musical fantasy, not a docudrama–and thanks goodness for that!
    As for Season 3, I think it’s apparent that the core characters will graduate. (Well, maybe not Brittany!) They need to rotate some new underclassmen into the cast next fall, which they seem primed to do, then can add even more newbies at the start of Season 4 (if there is one–gulp). That, coupled with inevitable return appearances by the originals (hey, April and Jesse came back), should ease the transition into a new core cast. And don’t forget there were no Warblers in Season 1, and they worked out well as newcomers, to say the least.
    Anyway, thanks again for the insights and the kind words.
    From the top!
    Bruce

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